January 29, 2020 / 2:15 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set for gains as Apple, Boeing take focus off coronavirus

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* Apple, Boeing, GE set to boost Wall St at open

* Starbucks slips as coronavirus prompts store closures in China

* Fed expected to hold rates, statement due at 2:00 pm ET

* Futures up: Dow 0.43%, S&P 0.23%, Nasdaq 0.36% (Changes comment, details)

By Sruthi Shankar and Ambar Warrick

Jan 29 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to extend its recovery on Wednesday as a surge in shares of Apple and Boeing after their results overshadowed concerns over the economic impact of a fast-spreading coronavirus.

Apple Inc gained 1.9% in premarket trading after reporting earnings for the holiday shopping quarter above analysts' expectations, even as it braced for more supply disruptions in virus-hit China.

Boeing Co jumped 2.8% after the planemaker's forecast of nearly $19 billion in costs related to the grounding of its 737 MAX jets was smaller than analysts' expectations.

"When we think about how much Boeing is off in the period that the 737 MAX has been the story, we're talking about a stock that was trading at $441 and now its trading at $313 today - there's been a good deal of this news priced in," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

"The market has shifted gears, at least for today, to focus on earnings."

China's President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that preventing and containing the new coronavirus, which has taken 132 lives and infected 5,974, remained a grim and complex task, the state television reported.

China's economic growth may drop to 5% or even lower due to the coronavirus outbreak, possibly pushing policymakers to introduce more stimulus measures, a report quoted a government economist as saying.

After fears about the virus roiled global markets earlier this week and sent the S&P 500 to its worst day in nearly four months, U.S. stocks stabilized on Tuesday amid hopes of strong earnings reports.

At 8:51 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 123 points, or 0.43%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.5 points, or 0.23% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 33 points, or 0.36%.

General Electric jumped 7.2% after the industrial conglomerate reported quarterly profit and cash flow that exceeded analysts' estimates, boosted by its aviation unit.

Facebook, set to report earnings after market close, was up 1.4% after brokerage Raymond James upgraded the stock to "strong buy".

The Federal Reserve will conclude its latest policy meeting on Wednesday with interest rates almost certainly to remain on hold, but officials are likely to discuss possible changes to how they manage the central bank's key overnight borrowing rate.

Among decliners, Advanced Micro Devices Inc dropped 5.6% after the chipmaker forecast first-quarter revenue largely below analysts' estimates due to waning demand from gaming console makers.

Starbucks Corp slipped 0.3% after warning of a financial hit from the virus outbreak as it closed thousands of restaurants and adjusted operating hours in China.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D'Silva

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